Bringing little ones out to eat can put a major damper on your eating experience – we know how this goes ALL too well. With an active 3 year old son and a squirmy 18 month old daughter, it’s almost always a hot mess when we all go out together.
But given that we’re a “foodie family” and have committed to trying at least 1 new local eatery a week, we’ve had to get creative and embrace the chaos. We’ve also gotten pretty good at assessing what types of places would be tolerable with kids, and when to just do ourselves a favor and get a sitter.
Little disclaimer- none of the spots on this list are designed with kids primarily in mind – you’ll have to stick with Chick-fil-A or Chuck E. Cheese if you’re looking for a playland. But each of these spots offer a relaxed atmosphere and breathing room for kids to be kids while us foodies enjoy some good local grub – without resorting to bringing them iPads (or medication) to enjoy ourselves.
In no particular order, here’s our go-to recommendations for an outing with littles:
1. Dakine Diego’s Insane Burritos – Satellite Beach
Super relaxed, beachy vibes here. This one is hard to beat if your kids like to play in the sand, and there’s tables right by the sandboxes so even the littlest of toddlers can enjoy some freedom with close supervision.
At this spot you’ll enjoy big, colorful taco bowls and loaded-up burritos, all with a little Hawaiian flair. And tip: DO get the Lizzie sauce and drizzle over EVERYTHING!
2. The Burger Place- Melbourne
This classic, 50’s themed diner has great covered + fenced-in patio seating and a fun, casual atmosphere. They have a simple, crowd-pleasing menu that kids AND grownups can’t help but like. And seriously, the best burger buns we’ve ever had! Plus, their kids’ meals come packaged in a fun vintage car.
3. Robburitos – Melbourne Beach
Definitely the most “zany” spot on the list – the interior decorating choices in this place alone are enough to keep little eyes entertained for a while. There’s a Barbie tree and funny trinkets on shelves that cover this place. There’s also the beloved mannequin “Bambi” who lives on the bench outside, that will delight (or confuse) the kiddos. The staff there was more than willing to accommodate our crazy kids and let them walk around and touch some of the fun things on display. There’s also outdoor patio seating available too which is always a plus with kids!
Grown-up foodies here will love the extra chunky guacamole and the fun “Americanized” burritos with smoked meats and flavorful sauces.
4. Pizza Gallery & Grill- Viera
By now you’re probably noticing a theme on this list- restaurants with outdoor areas are the easiest option when bringing along little ones. But Pizza Gallery & Grill earned a spot on this list because, although it is an indoor, sit-down style, we think they did a great job with some thoughtful details just for the kids.
You’re greeting by a large fish tank upon entering (babies LOVE looking at these!) and there’s even a kids’ corner with chalkboards and chairs for creating fun art while they’re waiting on their food. A fun upgrade from the usual crayons and paper routine!
For the adults, this spot has something for everyone. Both traditional and out-of-the-box pizzas, sandwiches, flatbreads, salads and more.
5. Billie’s on the Beach- Melbourne Beach
In true Florida fashion, we had to let the BEACH have the last word on this list. Just steps from the sand, Billie’s is a walk-up window that offers a fresh alternative to typical beach-stand food. Everything is made fresh upon ordering, including the fries. They offer a variety of sandwiches, pulled pork, and hamburgers. They also carry one of our favorite treats on the Space Coast – the famous Key Lime Pie on a stick, frozen and covered in chocolate. There’s also more traditional frozen treats like popsicles and ice cream bars.
There are picnic tables nearby or you can just carry your food to the beach while the kids continue to play – it doesn’t get any more kid-friendly than that!
So even though it’s always “easier” to eat out without bringing kids along, it’s not always more fun! Tried and true spots like these make it enjoyable to eat out as a family, craziness and all.